Help reviewing basement wiring plan

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Miguelito

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I will be starting the rough wiring of my basement soon. Please review my plan. I am pretty sure it's in good shape, but I just wanted a sanity check.

A few notes:

- My main panel in the house has only 4 slots left. Two slots will go to the 8-slot sub-panel I will install for the basement. I'll use a 50A, double throw breaker for the sub-panel. That will leave the house with two spare slots on the main panel for future needs.
- The circuit for the mini split is a 208/230V 15A circuit, so that will require a double-throw breaker, meaning all 8 slots in the basement sub-panel will be used up. The ductless mini split will be install by a pro. He just needs the wire off the panel to the general area where it will go (and maybe the shut-off box) and he will take it from there.
- All lights will be LED.
- The entire area you see is just under 1600sqft.

A few specific questions:

1 - I have an outlet circuit going to the bathroom area (red circuit). My plan is to have the first outlet be in the bathroom and making it a GFCI outlet so it protects all others downstream (including the one in the little closet next to the bathroom where the bathroom sewer pump is). Any harm in having all other outlets in the circuit be GFCI-protected? Should I only protect those two outlets (the only ones near water)? I can't imagine why not, but I just want to make sure.
2 - I have a low-power fan unit (needed by code to meet ventilation requirements - it will likely never be used) in the same circuit as the lighting for some closets (orange circuit in the plan). There is nothing wrong with this, right?
3 - Similarly, the blue lighting circuit is also powering a bathroom ceiling vent/light combo fixture in addition to other lights. This is ok as well, right? Does my bathroom actually need an exhaust fan with no bathtub or shower?

Thanks for your help!

Basement wiring.JPG
 

Stuff

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You really should hire a pro to review this as local codes will override some of your choices.

Adding an electrical panel and filling it up is just bad.
Bathroom receptacles can not be shared with other circuits outside of a bathroom. Also need to be 20amp.
Codes require exhaust for bathrooms. Some inspectors waive it and allow an unvented recirculating "fart fan."
You don't say what the rooms are. That determines what receptacles are needed. No receptacles in the center?
If using LEDs you don't need 3 circuits (3 x 15a * 120v = 5400 watts)
That many recessed lights can create strange lighting patterns.
 

Jadnashua

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Depending on where you live, you may be required to use GFCI and AFCI protection, not only in the bathroom, but elsewhere as well. I'd put in a larger subpanel.
 

Miguelito

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Thanks for the feedback.

Before reading your replies I had already decided not liking filling up the panel and already returned the 8-slot panel in favor of a 12-slot. Originally I wasn't going to have those closets and all I could fit on the "utility wall was a smaller box. With the closet in place, I can install a bigger sub-panel, so I went with 12.

The "rooms" you see are not rooms. They are simply where the engineered beams are (circles beneath them denote the steel columns). The basement is one large open area except for the bathroom and closets. Our family room is basically the area under "circuit 1" but upstairs. Despite a much taller ceiling, it has 8 recessed lights and that seems adequate. Given the lower ceiling, I feel I have to at least do the same on those areas of similar size.

I will split the red outlet circuit into 2 (maybe 3) circuits to leave the bathroom with a dedicated circuit.

Oh, and I am pulling a permit for this, so it will be inspected.
 

Stuff

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Good point above about AFCI. In addition if you use those they are all full size breakers. So an electrical panel listed for 12 circuits / 6 spaces can only support 6 AFCI breakers/circuits and nothing else.
Electrical panels and closets have restrictions. If inspector thinks it could be a clothes closet you could be screwed. Also make sure you have the 30W x 36D x 78H clear workspace in front of the panel.

If the steel columns get drywalled you might be required to put receptacles per the 2' rule.

Recessed lighting on a low ceiling requires a lot more planning than a high ceiling. They are in your face so the details are a lot more apparent. Keep in mind you need more flood than spot. Troffer style spreads the light better but isn't as trendy.

What is this basement going to be used for? A shop has different requirements than a bedroom.
 

Miguelito

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I do plan on using AFCI breakers on all the outlet & lighting circuits. The space will be a large, finished area (TV, pool table, area for kids to play, etc).

The closet has a 30" door but a 40"+ internal width, thus giving the main panel the needed width, unlimited depth, and I do have the 78" height. Now, the sub panel will be on the wall to the left of the main service panel. I am standing in front of the sub-panel, I have 40"+ of depth, height stays over 78", and with the door open I would have unlimited width.

I panel I got has 12 slots (up to 18 circuits), but I got a Murray one and the current main panel is Siemens, so I might return it and get a Siemens to match. I am now wondering is I should go with a 20-slot panel since I have room to fit whatever I want.

New plan has main panel with 3 free slots and 8 or maybe 9 slots used up on the sub-panel.
 

WorthFlorida

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As a general rule for recessed lighting is each light should not to be closer than the height of the ceiling. Since your drawing has no measurements, it looks like to me that you can eliminate 1/2 of your fixtures. This spacing gives a pleasant light spread. However, over a pool table or if you want to wash a wall with light it would be up to you.

As far a load concern the max limit is the rating of the light fixture. If the recessed cans are rated at 90 watts, load calculation if figured using the 90 watt number and not a 13 watt load for an LED lamp. Unless the fixture is a sealed LED unit and no other lamp can be used, then you can use the 13 watt load number.

Usually, if there is no window in a bathroom, an exhaust fan is required but as stated above local codes can vary. Regardless, always install an exhaust fan to the outside wall. When your brother-in-law comes to visit you will be glad there is an exhaust fan.:eek:

With a project of this sized it would be wise to hire an electrician and permitting to help you out. In an event of a fire and the cause is determined to be electrical in nature, your insurance company may not cover the losses since is it was done by a DIY'er without a signed off inspection.
 

Reach4

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I suggest that the stairs light have switches top and bottom. Include lighting the bottom step, because that is a common place to trip if you think you have reached the bottom, but have not.
 

Miguelito

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As a general rule for recessed lighting is each light should not to be closer than the height of the ceiling. Since your drawing has no measurements, it looks like to me that you can eliminate 1/2 of your fixtures. This spacing gives a pleasant light spread. However, over a pool table or if you want to wash a wall with light it would be up to you.

As far a load concern the max limit is the rating of the light fixture. If the recessed cans are rated at 90 watts, load calculation if figured using the 90 watt number and not a 13 watt load for an LED lamp. Unless the fixture is a sealed LED unit and no other lamp can be used, then you can use the 13 watt load number.

Usually, if there is no window in a bathroom, an exhaust fan is required but as stated above local codes can vary. Regardless, always install an exhaust fan to the outside wall. When your brother-in-law comes to visit you will be glad there is an exhaust fan.:eek:

With a project of this sized it would be wise to hire an electrician and permitting to help you out. In an event of a fire and the cause is determined to be electrical in nature, your insurance company may not cover the losses since is it was done by a DIY'er without a signed off inspection.

I have not yet 100% decided on the number and location of the lights. To your point, the reason for 3 lighting circuits is that in the future someone could put a bulb that pulls a lot more power. The plan all along was to use a fan in the bathroom. There are two small windows in the bathroom anyway.

As for the scope of the work, I did something much larger in scale for my detached garage. My neighbor, who is an electrician, pulled the permit for me and checked the work before the inspection, and both remarked on the high quality of work. That included two 30A circuits, a 50A circuit, multiple lighting (over 50 fluorescent bulbs) and outlet circuits (dozens of outlets), etc. This work included running wiring to my hydraulic lift and multiple circuits coming off the wall and being attached to the lift structure using rigid and flexible metal conduits.

As I mentioned, this work will be done with a permit, and it will be inspected.

As for insurance, there is no language specifying they won't cover an incident because it wasn't done by a qualified electrician. They would have to prove I did something wrong and that it caused the fire. That will be hard to do with a signed off inspection. That, and I know how to wire circuits.

I'm very slow in comparison, and would probably starve as a professional electrician as a result, but I do better work than the typical electrician because I take a ton of time. I work with licensed electricians and many electrical engineers at work and I will run my plan by them before I begin. I also have the latest NEC copy at work. This is just the very early planning stage.
 

Miguelito

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I suggest that the stairs light have switches top and bottom. Include lighting the bottom step, because that is a common place to trip if you think you have reached the bottom, but have not.

That circuit is already in place with top & bottom switches. It is required by code. My house is only a few years old so it's built to pretty late code. Interestingly, code calls for the circuit and a light a the top AND the bottom of the stairs. My house currently does not have a light at the bottom (don't know how that passed inspection at the time). My plan is to add those additional light fixtures to that circuit.
 

Stuff

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That circuit is already in place with top & bottom switches. It is required by code. My house is only a few years old so it's built to pretty late code. Interestingly, code calls for the circuit and a light a the top AND the bottom of the stairs. My house currently does not have a light at the bottom (don't know how that passed inspection at the time). My plan is to add those additional light fixtures to that circuit.
I missed that one. What code requires a light at both the top and bottom of stairs? What I last saw is that stair treads just need to be illuminated so one light appropriately placed covers it. The weird thing is that the NEC requires switches for each floor/landing (top and bottom) but only if there is a dedicated light. I never understood that caveat.
 

Miguelito

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I missed that one. What code requires a light at both the top and bottom of stairs? What I last saw is that stair treads just need to be illuminated so one light appropriately placed covers it. The weird thing is that the NEC requires switches for each floor/landing (top and bottom) but only if there is a dedicated light. I never understood that caveat.

I swear I read that somewhere, but I cannot find it. I admit I did not read it in the code. I guess it makes sense not to require it, provided there is enough illumination. In my house, the light on the top landing work great for most of the staircase, but the bottom two steps are not very well lit at night even with the light on.
 
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